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Clear it with SidneyHow our blog got its name >

 
Notes on journalism for the common good
by Lindsay Beyerstein

How our blog got its name

Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”

Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.

It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.

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#Sidney's Picks: Fast Food Forward Edition

Today's edition of Sidney's Picks is all about yesterday's fast food walkouts in New York City.

  • "Can fast food workers ever be unionized? Here, in New York, today, a lot of fast food workers decided to skip the theory and proceed directly to the "Fuck you, pay me" phase of the process," writes Hamilton Nolan of Gawker.
  • 200 workers from dozens of fast food restaurants around New York City walked off the job yesterday to demand higher wages, and the right to organize without retaliation. The walkout, organized by Fast Food Forward, was product of the largest organizing drive in the fast food industry. 
  • Sarah Jaffe delves into the economics of fast food jobs.
  • How the Wal-Mart strike inspired New York's fast food workers. 

 

[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]

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